Hyper Crazy Climber (PS3)

HYPER_BOXWhen I was a little kid in the early 80’s, I would love to go to arcades.  They were some of my first experiences that shaped me as a gamer.  Many of the games I played back then you can still find today if you look hard enough.  These special games seemed to be in every arcade I visited, because they were so popular.  Some of these include Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug, Pole Position, Centipede, etc.  But there were other arcade machines that I remember seeing in nearly every arcade back then, but you don’t hear so much about them now.  One good example is Crazy Climber.  I used to see it in nearly every arcade I went to, so it must’ve been popular back then.  But you don’t see much about it now.  However, in Japan, where the game originated, there have been some sequels, ports, and remakes of Crazy Climber since then, and one of them was Hyper Crazy Climber on the original PlayStation.  Now you can download and play Hyper Crazy Climber on PSN thanks to MonkeyPaw Games (reviewed on PS3 here).

But before we get to that, I want to talk a little bit more about the original Crazy Climber.  For a game that came out in 1980, it certainly looked more advanced than most of the other games out at the time.  Considering the best graphics back then came from games like Pac-Man, Crazy Climber looked years ahead with its colorful visuals and sound effects that featured voices.  In the game, you control a guy trying to climb a tall skyscraper, and you had to avoid obstacles like windows that opened and shut, people dropping flower pots on your head, pooping birds, and even the occasional giant gorilla.

But probably the most unique thing about Crazy Climber was the controls.  There were no buttons, just two joysticks that you moved up and down and side to side to control the limbs of the climber.  You’d have to make his arms and legs grab hold of the window ledges so he could climb up.  Unfortunately, this complicated control scheme eluded me as a youngster, so I didn’t play this game much back then.  When you’re a kid with a limited income, you tend to spend your precious quarters on arcade games you’re better at, so your money lasts longer.  So I tended to play more titles like Pac-Man, Frogger, Dig Dug, Burgertime, Marble Madness, etc.  But I’m glad to be able to review Hyper Crazy Climber here, so I can see if 30 plus years of gaming experience will help me be better at this game that once eluded me.  Read on to find out!

In Hyper Crazy Climber, you can pick from three characters.  A boy, a girl, and a robot.  Each one has different levels of speed and endurance.  I didn’t really notice any difference in endurance levels, but wow that girl can really shimmy up those structures so I recommend starting out as her, although the robot is pretty cool, too (but slow).  The things you’ll be climbing are more than just skyscrapers now, as you’ll be ascending up structures like cliff sides, underwater towers, beanstalks, and more!  Each level has different obstacles for you to avoid, but they’re pretty much like the ones you had to watch out for in the original arcade game.  You can also grab power-ups that let you clear out the screen of obstacles and such.  Once you finish the first level, you can go onto the next from a world map, and save your progress, too.

Really the only main problem I had with the game was still the controls, but you can change them on the options screen.  Speaking of the options screen, it’s the only part of the game that has some Japanese in it, and even then only a little.  So the game is very import friendly.  I recommend visiting MonkeyPaw Games’ Web site, as they have a great page with instructions on how to play the game and the difference between the control types, so it’s very helpful.  There are three types of controls.  The easy type, listed as number one, uses only two buttons to make you climb up, and the D-pad to move left and right.  Normal type, viewed as number two, is more like the arcade game but replaces the two joysticks with the face buttons and D-pad.  The third control scheme is similar to the second, but you use two controllers and the D-pad on each.  Why you would want to do that, I don’t know, but it’s there nonetheless.

Unfortunately, even with the easy control scheme, maneuvering my climber around still eluded me after all these years.  I couldn’t even get past level two.  Heck, completing level one felt like a monumental accomplishment.  Plus, even though you can save your progress, if you lose all your lives in a level, you have to start it over again from the bottom, so it can get a little frustrating.  Plus, it could’ve used a few more gameplay modes, like maybe a two-player climbing race, or easier difficulty selections on the levels for little kids and idiots like me.  Really the only people I think will get full enjoyment from this title are those who remember the original Crazy Climber, and were very good at it.


Kid Factor:

As an import title, Hyper Crazy Climber isn’t rated by the ESRB, but the only violence comes from if you get hit by an obstacle, you could fall off the screen.  I think most kids would get frustrated by the confusing controls and steep difficulty.  I know I did with the original Crazy Climber when I was little.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!